Sunday, June 3, 2012

Safe Methods of Pain Relief

As a followup to yesterday's post, I'd like to cover several ways of getting rid of pain safely.

First of all, understand that a lot of pain medication is toxic to your system.  The side effects from these medications are probably not worth the temporary pain relief you get from them.  As these medications do not address the root of the problem, chances are, the pain relief will last only as long as the pill does.

There are more than 900 drugs and herbs that have been classified as hepatotoxic (poisonous to the liver).  Note that just because something is an "all natural" herb does not mean that it cannot harm your body.  I do not recommend taking any kind of pain pills unless there is absolutely no way around it.  In one study Acetominophen (Tylenol) overdose was implicated in 42% of hospitalized liver injuries.


 Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.) can cause severe heart and gastrointestinal problems, and is hepatotoxic to those with Hepatitis C.

NSAIDS (Aspirin, etc) can cause severe gastointestinal bleeding, even in low doses. 

Although research is scant, there are reports of muscle-relaxant induced cases of hepatotoxicity and jaundice

Although most people who follow dosage recommendations properly do not experience problems, I do not feel that taking symptom-relieving medication (medication that does not treat the disease, but merely masks symptoms) is necessary or wise unless there is simply no other alternative.  If you absolutely must take a pill, take it ONLY as recommended, and not any more than that.  Period.

Fortunately, there is almost always another alternative.

In the case of pain, this is most definitely the case.

Numerous studies show that acupuncture treatment is extremely effective for pain relief of many kinds, and has very few, if any, side effects. 

There are several studies demonstrating the efficacy of chiropractic in treating low back pain

Tapping/EFT does not have much in the way of scientific research behind it (although there is one promising-looking, though incomplete, study I have found to date); however, there many people have reported to me that this method has helped them in many areas (pain relief, emotional, anxiety, and more), and I have personally achieved considerably more physical strength after a brief tapping session.  It is easy to learn and easy to self-administer, so worth a shot.

CoQ10, magnesium, riboflavin, and vitamin B-12 have all shown promise in research for migrane headache relief.

Massage therapy has shown some promise in relieving pain from menstruation, in relieving pain associated with cancer, and in relieving low back pain.

Capsaicin (the stuff that makes hot peppers hot) has shown considerable promise in relieving pain related to cancer, HIV, inflammation, diabetes, and other infections and metabolic disturbances when used as a site-specific, high-dose patch or injectable preparation

It is important to note that depression and other kinds of emotional distress are closely related to pain.  Addressing these emotional components alone can remove the source of the pain, and therefore the pain itself.  Cognitive therapy has been shown to address depression as effectively as taking anti-depressants (but without the side-effects).  Stress-relief techniques such as meditation, breathing techniques, exercise, or whatever works for the individual can go a long way in relieving stomach pain, muscular tightness, headaches, and other stress-related issues.

If you are, or know someone who is, having issues with severe pain and/or depression, please get the needed help.  Do not turn to drugs or alcohol to numb the problem.  It will not help.  It will make things worse.  There are alternatives. 


  1. Thanks for posting this Melody. I have worked in the health field for over 23 years now and I see so many addicted to pain medications.
    I, myself, rarely take medications. I have to take one diuretic for a "floppy" heart valve, but that's it. In fact, the other day when I did my long run of 15 miles, of course I hurt some from the waist down-I thought about ibuprofen, but since I have IBS, I rarely touch them, so next best thing.....I drove over to the local state park and walked in the lake for about 15 minutes. Here in WI, the lakes are not yet anywhere near warm enough to swim, but they sure make a great ice bath! I felt great afterwards, all the inflammation was gone....
    People just need to look elsewhere for great relief than a pharmacy!

    1. We come from a "pills cure all" society, and they are made almost sexy through advertising. There is also a common belief that OTC medication is harmless, since it's OTC, and that all herbs are harmless since they are "natural." People also don't take their other actions into consideration (for instance, drinking alcohol and taking hepatotoxins). Very, very unfortunate.

  2. It is not good to drink alcoholic beverages when taking up medicines. When taking up medicine just make it sure that it was prescribed by the doctor to avoid complications.

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  3. Chronic pain must be treated by pain specialist as it could lead to a more serious situation. Pain clinic in NJ has some of the best doctors helping to overcome the pain through a holistic approach.